Anne Macaulay, Ph.D.
ADAPT Certified Functional Health Coach
National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach

Cooking up Self-Love

Anne Macaulay | First Thoughts

Greetings friends!

Here are my “First Thoughts” on mindset, real food and behavior change. 

Quote that I am pondering: “Cooking is an act of self-love.” -Elizabeth Lipski. Self-care is a hot topic, but cooking a lovely meal for oneself is still looked on a little strangely. I would argue that there is nothing more self-caring than feeding one’s body nourishing, delicious food. I also take pleasure in being able to experiment without any concern about offended palettes!

What I’m reading: Seed catalogs! I have eagerly awaited seed catalogs in the winter mailbox since I was a teenager. There is nothing like browsing through photos of greenery and dreaming up garden plans to make spring seem a little bit closer. My favorites: Johnny’s Selected Seeds and Fedco Seeds for vegetables and Annie’s Annuals and Select Seeds for flowers. 

  • Programs I’m leading: I’m excited to be leading a monthly vegetable garden workshop for Eating for Your Health, formerly known as The Suppers Program. If you enjoy gardening or want to get a garden started this year, join me for this monthly hands-on workshop! Learn how to start seeds, beat weeds, and keep the harvest going into November. For more information and to sign up
What I’m experimenting with: Maximizing microbiome diversity by maximizing vegetable diversity. Historically, our hunter gatherer ancestors would have eaten a wide range of vegetable fibers on a daily basis. Both the quantity of vegetable fiber and the diversity of vegetable fiber would have been much greater than most Americans currently eat, but Dr. Datis Kharrazian, who researches and teaches about autoimmunity, argues that diversity is even more important than quantity if we are going to support our microbiome. He suggests eating a Veggie Mash Up that consists of 20-30 different organic vegetables (everything from culinary herbs to root vegetables to mushrooms, celery, asparagus etc.), combined in a food processor, and eaten daily. Start with a teaspoon and work up to a couple of tablespoons. You can make big batches and freeze in ice cube trays. Here’s a discussion in a podcast with  Dr. K in an interview with Phoenix Helix. Spring through fall, I easily get my varied vegetable fiber intake by wandering the garden and nibbling on mint, arugula, a green bean, a radish etc while I harvest things to put on the dinner table. In the winter, I have to try harder and I think it’s time to try a Veggie Mash-Up!. What’s in bloom: Kale, Winterbor hybrid  OK, this isn’t really a flower, but it does look pretty in the winter garden. Kale is very easy to grow, but does attract cabbage moths. Thankfully, those are easily controlled with the organic treatments such as Monterey Garden Spray which is made from soil bacteria.

What I’m cookingKale! If I haven’t lost you yet, you much be a true kale fan! Kale can be a bit of a pain to prepare with those thick central ribs that aren’t easy to digest. One simple trick is to freeze a whole bunch of kale and then shatter the frozen leaves into a colander (see video here. Please excuse my fuzzy bathrobe making an appearance!). The leaves will come away from the stems and break into small pieces that are perfect for cooking. If I’m looking to sauté kale, I usually steam it first and then toss it in a pan with some olive oil and garlic right before serving. I don’t have the patience to sauté down a whole bunch of lofty leaves! 

That’s all for now.

Love, Anne